Officially based on two of Frank Herbert's science fiction novels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, this three-part, six-hour miniseries was actually a sequel to the Sci-Fi Channel's multipart adaptation of the original Dune. The story was set in the year 10,103: Having deposed the evil emperor of the desert planet Arrakis, the messianic Paul Atreides (Scott Newman) was firmly installed as the planet's supreme "Muad'Dib," as well as the guardian of Arrakis' life-enhancing spice supply. Unfortunately, Paul's efforts to unify his kingdom have had the residual consequences of bloodshed and tyranny. It fell to Paul's twin children, Ghanima (Jessica Brooks) and Leto II (James McAvoy), to thwart the villainous machinations of the planet's deposed matriarch, Princess Wensicia (Susan Sarandon), and the beautiful but insane Princess Alia (Daniela Amavia). Like the previous Dune miniseries, this one was decked out with superlative special effects, excellent performances, on-target direction, and (most vital for any Herbert adaptation) a thoroughly logical and coherent teleplay. First telecast on March 16, 2003, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune was clearly designed as the pilot for a weekly Dune series.
by Hal Erickson synopsis